I Sew 2

I was doing some research on West Yorkshire Spinners yarn for a blog post, and found myself accidentally clicking on the ‘Stockists’ link and searching for Scotland. Completely by accident, you understand.

And it just so happens that there’s a stockist a mere 5-minute walk from my work! That’s close enough even for my measly 30 minutes of lunch break (yes I am still a bit miffed that I don’t get an hour any more), so that very day I paid them a visit.

I Sew 2 is a cute little shop on Townhead in Kirkintilloch. With a real bell on the door! I love those.

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The light would NOT let me get a good photo

There’s not masses of stock, as about a third of the space is set up for workshops and socials, but they’ve still managed to cram yarn, fabric, ribbons, buttons, and notions in there; enough to fill up my lunch break no problem.

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The owner is super friendly and chatted the whole time I was there, but not in a sales-y way.

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We talked about knitting and crochet (obviously), setting craft budgets and sometimes sticking to them, the pros and cons of knit/crochet groups, patchworking, sewing machine techniques, and all the events that run in the shop.

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I will definitely be going along to the Crochet Chaos social at some point, and I’m all booked in for a 3D needle felting workshop this week.

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Something I learned from the leaflet the owner gave me is that they also work in conjunction with SiMBA, a charity that creates memory boxes for parents who have lost a baby, either pre- or post-natal. The boxes contain a knitted or crochet blanket, butterfly, and stuffed toy – all made by volunteers. There are monthly sessions in the shop to create these donations, which were during the day but after I asked about it they started an evening session as well.

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Back to my visit – I naively planned to just have a look around, see what was on offer in case I ever needed some yarn faster than Love Crochet could deliver it.

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Silly me! 20 minutes is clearly beyond my limit for being around crafting goodies without buying some, especially when there’s a bargain bucket and the words “of course we take card” are involved.

One gorgeous skein was very clearly calling my name and I was powerless to resist as it jumped into my hands. It’s like fuzzy Autumn.

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And then I just had to have this bundle of fat quarters.

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Luckily for my bank balance I stopped with those two, but oh I could have spent so much money in there. If I ever get a working sewing machine again I’ll definitely be back for some of the beautiful fabrics, and in the meantime I get the feeling I’m going to become a regular at the Crochet Chaos socials.

Hannah

xXx

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WIP Thursday, because I’m rubbish

Current WIP count: 6

This week I’ve been plodding along with my knitted blanket. I got to the end of my purple yarn and decided to go with white next for some contrast.

I think the third (and probably final) colour will be dark blue. Like a negative sandwich.

A couple of weeks ago I finally met up with a friend I haven’t seen for ages and she gave me a birthday present:

Everything in here is suuuuuuper cute, but as soon as I saw the dragon I knew that was the one for me.

I’ve not got very far yet due to much frogging (don’t crochet tired!), but it’s amigurumi in my favourite colour, I know it’ll turn out super cute eventually, and I don’t have a specific deadline so I’m just enjoying the process.

How’s everyone doing this week?

Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 06.06.18

Current WIP count: 7

I’m nearly nearly there with my top.

The border is finished on the sleeves, just got to sew the ends in, and I’m now working on the border round the bottom edge. I have added on an extra row in the hope of getting that length I want.

Now it’s finished I actually want to make another one. This time with cotton, and adding in more length from the beginning, and probably only using one shade. It’s such a pretty pattern I really want one that I know I’ll love wearing.

I’ve also cast on a basic blanket for the cat charity again, to use up some skeins I found during my stash sorting. I forgot how slow knitting is, so this will be a slow burner to work on while watching Suits or just to give my hands a rest from crochet.

Miles and miles of knit stitch. I can’t go wrong.

How’s this week going? What’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 30.03.18

Happy good Friday everyone!

My scrappy blanket was so addictive that I’ve finished it already, sewn in ends and all.

It did help that I only had 4 ends to sew in: start and finish of the main blanket, plus start and finish of the border.

I use the fisherman’s knot to join my yarn together, so there were no ends to sew for the colour changes.

The border is nice and simple, just two rows of granny stitch in white to balance out all the colours in the main part.

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So that’s it finished and ready to go for charity, in less than a week. Don’t you just love grannies?

Now I’m going to spend the rest of the day watching Moana and having a spring clean. Living the life! What’s everyone else been working on? Got any fun plans for this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 28.03.18

Current WIP count: 5

I confess, I started another WIP. There were all these odds and ends of blue and white left from the chevron blanket, too small to really make anything. Then I remembered all the little scraps I had left from other projects and I just had to do something with them.

So here is my scrappy blanket.

Some of the bits aren’t even long enough for a full row so it’s going to be a real mish mash, but the cat sanctuary can always use another blanket and I’m guessing cats aren’t particularly bothered about pretty.

I’d forgotten how addictive the granny stitch is. I only started it on Monday and it’s nearly finished already. I just keep thinking “One more row. One more row. One more row!”

And I have at last finished my first ever crochet sleeve.

Now to do it all over again and try to make it exactly the same as this one. It should go faster this time, as I’m not running off to New Zealand for two weeks in the middle, but we’ll see.

I think it’s time to just accept that I will never be a one-WIP crafter and run with it. At least I’m not up in double figures again!

 

How’s your week going? Managed to whittle down your WIP list? let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

 

 

 

 

FO Friday 23.03.18

It’s done, it’s finally finished! At last I can cross the chevron blanket off my WIP list.

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Blue and white chevron blanket

 

Yes, the ends need sewing in. Details.

I love my blankets with alternating BLO and regular stitch sections, but I think it worked better with the super chunky yarn I used for my massive chevron blanket.

Either way, it’s done and as soon as I get the ends sewn in this is going to my local cat shelter.

I also whipped up a wee birthday present for my dad, who loves hedgehogs.

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It’s just shorter than the palm of my hand, really dinky and cute!

And look at the clever little bobble stitch feet.

I used this pattern for the body, modified to BLO to leave the front loops free for the spines. And this one for the spines (I don’t have any eyelash yarn) with three chains rather than four. I just can’t leave a pattern alone!

It’s so cute, I might have to make another one for myself.

A productive week all in all, so I’m happy. How’s your week been? Finished anything crafty? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 02.02.18

I don’t seem to have very many FOs at the moment, not sure why.

All I have to offer this week is my second granny square for Yarn4Less

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Apologies for the photo quality, I spent 15 minutes trying to get a decent one and it just wasn’t happening!

This square is made up of 2 rows regular dc alternated with 2 rows fp/bpdc, which makes a pattern far more interesting than I can get my camera to show.

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Just trust me, it’s amazing 😉

So they’re on their way to be added to the big blanket. I can’t wait to see the end result.

I’m feeling sad today, I was with one of my best friends last night when he got some awful, awful news. So I’m going to curl up under my duvet and not move unless I absolutely have to, and hopefully that will help.  Then next time I see the people I love I’m going to hug them extra tight, especially my friend.

How’s everyone’s week been? Got any FOs to share? Let me know in the comments (and then go hug someone).

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 26.01.18

On Instagram I follow a giveaway account called Yarn4Less. Obviously I signed up originally for the free stuff, but since then I’ve learned what a lovely community it is.

Not only are the people super friendly and supportive of each other, we also use our crafting skills for activism and charity. Right now everyone is making granny squares, to create a blanket for victims of domestic abuse.

Here is my first square:

Of course I’m not just making a regular granny square, that would be far too easy and I love front post/back post stitches too much!

I’m also going to make a second square with alternating rows of regular stitches and fp/bp like this one. I think it’ll make an even more interesting texture.

Then I will get right back to crossing things off my WIP list, honest!

How’s your week been? Finished anything crafty? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Winner, winner

I am officially no longer allowed to say that I never win anything. Inspired by a conversation I had on Yolanda’s blogiversary giveaway (go check it out!), here’s a round up of my blogging wins from last year.

From Cherry Heart Blog I won a copy of Colourful Crochet by Marianne Dekker-Roos.

Even more wonderful, I immediately started a puff stitch scarf and when it started to go a peculiar shape I sent a message to Marianne on Instagram, and she answered me!! She talked me through it and we had a lovely conversation, and I basically felt like I was dreaming. I had a crochet conversation with a crochet superstar. Wow.

When Julias creative year had a blogiversary giveaway I knew instantly which card was my favourite, but also that I would have been happy if I won any of the lovely prizes. Then the results day came, and would you believe I won my favourite.

I was introduced to I am simply hooked through Stitching Santa (which is brilliant by the way – you should totally join this year!), and I really enjoyed reading and commenting on lots of posts. Then Jenny had a giveaway for guessing which of her items sold best. It was actually really hard to decide and I dithered for ages between the jellyfish and the cute spiders. In the end I went for jellyfish and I was right, hooray!

My prize was one of the fab jellyfish, which is now hanging quite happily from my pull-up bar.

He helps me get stronger

 

And finally – remember I made some Daisies for Vicky?

These were sent down to England to be made into a blanket, which would then be raffled off to raise money for Victim Support. People could donate any amount they wanted, and every £1 was one entry into the raffle.

I think I donated £2 just to bring the total up to a round number, and with absolutely no expectation of winning when there were people who donated £10 or £20 or even more. But guess what?

Totally won!

 

Lynda’s Craft Room did an unbelievable job of joining the squares together, it’s so neat!! Then Lisa from the Wee House of Crochet sent it over and I have not stopped admiring it since.

Before anyone asks, yes I did do the lottery last year (several times) and no I didn’t even win a tenner. I suppose you can’t win them all!

So that was my incredibly lucky 2017. Did anyone else win last year? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

My first octopus

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Photo from My Nomad Home

You may have seen or heard about these preemie octopi. Octopods. Octopussies. Whatever the plural is.

They started off in Denmark, where a study found that babies in incubators did a lot better with an octopus friend –  the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord, and baby can grab onto them instead of pulling at any vital wires. They also help lower baby’s heart rate, provide companionship, and all sorts of other good things.

Of course I wanted to join in straight away. Combining crafts with helping people is one of my favourite things in the world! But at the time there were no UK hospitals accepting the octopoms, so I filed the idea away for later and got on with other things.

Fast forward to this week, and an email went round saying the wife of one of my colleagues had given birth 8 weeks early. Baby was okay, but would be living in an incubator for a wee while.

Ding! went the lightbulb above my head.

Enough time has passed that some Scottish hospitals will now allow an octopus in with incu-babies, and (I figured) even if this particular hospital won’t allow it, baby can still have it when he gets out.  So here we have my first ever preemie octopus, Oliver:

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Isn’t he the cutest!

I had a brief look over this pattern, decided I didn’t quite like the shape of the body, and went off and did my own thing. I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

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Making friends

Oliver will be handed over to his new family next week, so I’ll have to wait and see what they think of him. In the meantime…. I’ve had a thought.

There are a few Etsy shops I like that offer a charity matching option, for example you buy a blanket for yourself and the shop donates a blanket to a hospice.

What do you all think of Quiet Water offering this with preemie octopodes (obviously I will learn the correct plural term before setting it up)? You get a cute little curly wurly octopus and I send one to a hospital that will accept them, to help a little baby feel better.

What do you think? Would you go for Oliver with an added bonus? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx